Stephanie McMahon has always believed in WWE’s room for growth. She’s gone on record as saying there’s no reason WWE can’t be as big as Disney.
In a new interview with Fortune, Stephanie McMahon talks about all of the avenues the WWE still have left to venture out towards, what it means for the WWE when someone like The Rock has a great career outside of WWE, and more. Below are some highlights.
Stephanie McMahon on female empowerment in WWE:
“It’s important, because, well, women matter. When I was growing up, I didn’t have that representation. Women being the main event (at WrestleMania) wouldn’t have even been thought of. It would have been laughable, quite frankly. And to now have my three daughters sitting in the front row seeing women headline and be the main event just because that’s the way it is—that to me is what this women’s evolution is all about. Fighting for what’s right.
“It really started off down at the WWE Performance Center, in Orlando. We started recruiting elite female athletes, same as the men. We trained them the same as the men and gave them the same match time and opportunities. They started to rise to the top when we started giving these women the spotlight and a true opportunity. Our audience started chanting for women’s wrestling. That’s when our women had the chance to showcase what they could do. It created this demand from our fan base that translated into the main roster.
“In February 2015, we had a “Divas” match that was a tag match that lasted all of 30 seconds in a three-hour show. Our fans started a hashtag of #GiveDivasAChance that trended worldwide for three days, specifically calling for better character development, longer matches, more athleticism, better storylines. All we had to do was listen.”
Stephanie McMahon on what it means for somebody like The Rock to find success outside of WWE:
“We always want to grow and reach new people, as well as re-engage casual fans or lapsed fans. The more we can get our superstars exposure outside of WWE programming, the better it is for everyone. The ultimate end goal is driving viewers back into WWE programming but at the end of the day, the more you are front and center in people’s minds the more they’re thinking about your product, the better you’re going to be as a business.”
Stephanie on what avenues she wants WWE to venture out into:
“We have the most passionate fans in the world so wherever they are we want to be. I want to figure out fantasy sports for WWE, e-sports, podcasts, V.R., A.I. We are doing all of those things in different ways, but we can always improve. There’s the desire to constantly grow and learn and that’s one of the beautiful things about the digital and tech space because you have the chance to test. Our fans will tell us what they like, what they don’t like, and what they don’t want us to do ever again.”
Stephanie makes a brief comment on AEW on TNT:
I think it will ultimately make us all better, I really do.
Stephanie on FOX acquiring SmackDown: